THE GREEK COMPONENT IN THE POETRY AND POETICS OF MUHAMMAD � AF � F � MATAR* Between the eyes of Thoth And the sun of Athena My drowned heart desired The sun of visions and serenity Mu � ammad � Af � f � Ma � ar I. Thoth and Athena Both Thoth and Athena, in Matar's poem, represent deities of knowledge. The poet uses them not only as Egyptian and Greek mythological synonyms for knowing, but also emphasizes-through their implied differences- the two modalities of knowing. Thoth stands for gnosis, a sort of illuminative knowledge and spiritual truth intuitively grasped. Athena signifies, on the other hand, the knowledge that is arrived at through reasoning, comprehension, inference and logical thinking. 1 Academically speaking, these two deities Thoth and Athena may not stand so obviously and exclusively for these two polarities: wisdom versus science, or intuition versus logic. However, poetically speaking, Matar uses them in the poem with this particular nuance in mind. To determine the specific significance of these divinities in the poetic context, Matar reinforces the mystic qualities of Thoth and the rational attributes of Athena, by referring to the "eyes" of one and the "sun" of
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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